On February 1, an important stage in the integration process of the ARSAT-2 telecommunication satellite was successfully completed at the headquarters of INVAP (Applied Research Company), in Bariloche.
The satellite is the second of a series of three that ARSAT (Argentine Company for Satellite Solutions) —dependent on the National Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services— is manufacturing together with INVAP in Argentina, in the context of the Argentine Geostationary Telecommunications Satellite System (SSGAT, in Spanish).
The mating procedure involves integrating two fundamental parts of a geostationary satellite, the Service Module and the Communication Module. INVAP’s experts carried out this procedure with the support and under the supervision of ARSAT’s and Thales Alenia Space’s staff. The mating of the ARSAT-1 —the first satellite of this series, which will be launched in mid-2014— took place about a year ago.
The payload is located in the Communication Module. It includes the transponders, their corresponding electronic components and the antennas. Since the payload receives, amplifies and retransmits radio frequency signals, it is essential for providing telecommunication services.
On the other hand, the Service Module includes structural capacity, as well as the power altitude and thermal control subsystems, among others, —necessary for orbital control and that of the services allowing a satisfactory payload performance.
The process of mechanical assembly and electrical integration of the Communication and Service Modules began almost a year ago and now their mating finally made the satellite to take form. The building work will be completed over the next few months with the assembly of external elements, mainly the three communication antennas of the payload, and the propellers and sensors.
The mating of the satellite took place properly and on schedule. This will permit to consolidate the project launching stage, which has been planned for mid-2015, one year after the launching of the ARSAT-1. It will surely be a milestone in the contribution of the company to the Argentine space activity in the commercial area of telecommunications.